In honor of this sacred month of Rajab, the month of Allah, Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said has written on the virtues of the sacred months and of fasting, on preserving good, and preparing for Ramadan.

يَهْدِي اللَّـهُ لِنُورِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ

“Allah Guides to His Light Whom He Wills.” (Surah Al Nur, 24:35)

Rajab, the Month of Allah

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate.

Allah, exalted and most High, wanted khayr (good) for His creation so He said in Sura Al-Baqara (2:185):

يُرِيدُ اللَّـهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ

Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship.

Allah, exalted and most High, did not say He wanted to make things easy for us, but rather He wanted ease for us and all the khayr!

Allah, exalted and most High, has given us one such khayr in the form of the four sacred months, as He said in Surah Al Tawba (9:36):

إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِندَ اللَّـهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّـهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ

Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred.

In a Hadith, Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: “Time has come back to its original state which it had when Allah created the Heavens and the Earth, the year is twelve months, of which four are sacred; three are in succession, namely, Dhul-Qa’da, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and (the fourth one) Rajab which is between Juma and Sha’ban.” (Bukhari)

In these sacred months, Allah, exalted and most High, mentions that no one should be oppressed, including ourselves. Our master Qatada, Allah be well pleased with him, said that a sin committed in these sacred months is worse than those committed in the rest of year. Although a sin should be avoided in all months, our master Qatada, Allah be well pleased with him, is emphasizing the importance of these sacred months.

Allah, exalted and most High, chose from people, chose from angels, chose from places, chose from days, chose from nights and chose from months; and from those months, the sacred months. We say this in a time when people may say why is it in important to place emphasize on a given time, place or thing.

Fasting in the Sacred Months

In a Hadith, a man from the tribe of Bahela met Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, along with his tribe, and returned back to Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, a year later. Upon his return, the man asked Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, if he had recognized him, to which Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, responded, “Should I recognize you?” The man explained that he was from the tribe of Bahela, who had visited a year ago.

Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, then inquired about his physical appearance, as Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, stated that the man’s appearance was much better last year. The man replied that since their last meeting he had been fasting constantly.
Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, said:

Fast Ramadan and one day a month

The man: I want more!

Fast Ramadan and two days a month

The man: I want more!

Fast Ramadan and three days a month

The man: I want more!

Fast Ramadan and much from the sacred months – and take leave.
(Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Bayhaqi, Ahmad)

In recalling this Hadith, we learn a number of things. We see the mercy (rahma) of Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, in how he interacted with the man and his explanation and prescription to fast, in particular highlighting fasting in the sacred months.

From the man’s initial introduction, we see how great and dear Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, makes people feel about themselves, such that each person who comes upon his presence feels as if they are the most important and ought to be remembered!

Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, even remembered what this one man from this particular tribe looked like a year ago!

Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, is also teaching us that ibadah (worhsip) is a joy and khayr, and that there are days where it is ibadah to fast and there are days where it is ibadah to eat (i.e. Eid).

Preserving Khayr

Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, in relation to the sacred months, continually opens our eyes to all that is khayr, even that khayr that was done by previous people, and he encourages us to preserve them.

An example of this is the narration regarding the people of the virtuous alliance. This was a group of people who met during Jahiliyya in the house of Abdullah ibn Jadaal. During this meeting, they agreed not to allow anyone to be oppressed in Makkah and to uphold the rights of those who were oppressed. Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, was present at this meeting as a young child.

After the all the khayr Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, witnessed, including Isra wal Miraj, the Hijra and the opening of Makkah, Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, still remembered the day of the virtuous alliance and said that one of the greatest things that he remembered from Jahaliyya was the people of the virtuous alliance. Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, continued by saying if someone were to do something similar, he would support it.

In this, Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, is telling us the preservation of all that is khayr is paramount.

As such, the Arabs used to stop fighting during the sacred four months, and the sanctity of these sacred months was confirmed by Allah, exalted and most High, and Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, and included as part of Shar‘ia.

The observation of the Arabs during these may have been related or influenced by the people and practice related to Ibrahim, peace be upon him, or, as some historians suggest, the sacredness of these months could also be partially explained by the proximity of Hajj to three of the sacred months.

The Station of Ibrahim

In another example, the Sahaba asked Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, regarding the Arab practice of respecting the maqam of Ibrahim, peace be upon him, which was the place Ibrahim, peace be upon him, stood while observing the building progress of the Ka‘ba.

The Sahaba, who were expecting a response from Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, were responded to directly by Allah, exalted and most High, when He said in Sura Al-Baqara (2:125):

وَاتَّخِذُوا مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى

And take, [O believers], from the standing place of Abraham a place of prayer.

The Sahaba also asked about the observations of the Arabs with regards to the mounts of Safa and Marwa, (in between which our lady Hajar, Allah be well pleased with her, ran in prayer) asking if it was permissible to continue such practices, to which Allah, exalted and most High, responded in Sura Al-Baqara (2:158):

إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَائِرِ اللَّـهِ ۖ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا ۚ وَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ

Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwa are among the symbols of Allah. So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘umra – there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing.

The Sahaba, in asking about the previous practices of the Arabs, may have thought that anything observed before the religion (deen) may need to be expunged, however, to the contrary, Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, taught them that anything that has khayr and does not contradict our religion, can and should be preserved, supported and honored.

Preparing for Ramadan

Our master Anas ibn Malik, Allah be well pleased with him, narrated that when Rajab came, Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, would say: “Oh Allah, put blessing for us in Rajab and Shaban, and bless for us Ramadan.” (Shu’ab al Iman, Al Bayhaqi; Al Hilyat al Awliya, Abu Naym; Al Musnad, Al Bazaar)

From this we understand that Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, wanted us to prepare for Ramadan from the beginning of Rajab and that is why the Righteous (Salihin) used to say:

Remove all sin and transgression in Rajab, as it is the month of istighfar (seeking forgiveness).

Do much by way of ibadah in Shaban as it is the month of hard work. Our lady Aisha, Allah be well pleased with her, narrated that Allah’s Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, used to fast more in this month than any other month outside of Ramadan).

And reap the blessings in Ramadan, as it is the month of khayr and baraka.

If we prepare, then, insha Allah, we will be ready to receive the blessing.

Ya Allah, exalted and most High! Make this a month of forgiveness, patience, increase in khayr and bless us with the greatness of adab in the months to come.

Faid Mohammed Said


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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)